KLIMT'S "THE KISS"
—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
Today Gustav Klimt
with "The Kiss"
gloved in lemon
young this week
of tourists walk by
in a flowing poise
of symbolist color
offering a gesture
cutting through eras
of living art
in the enlightened
lamps of sunlight.
and private poet,
an international poet,
a poet traveler
in peace and war
Southern and Northern
friend of the solitary
and infinite liberty
friend for life
to poets everywhere,
of love and language
leaves our memory
the sky birds sing
for you this day.
—Michael Cluff, Corona
Hiram was a victim
the need for untied bow ties
filtered his hours into
purchase and practice
since his forty-eight-year-old joints
were no longer adept
at the procedure involved in
the many twists and turns
such a fashionable look
inflicted on his novacained-like digits.
the trussed-up look
around his neck
nearly wattled complete
of those days
when Cousin Maude
would hold him down
by his throat
in order for her
to have her own
particular, peculiar way
He was never happy
until she re-intruded
in his recently divorced thoughts.
I tell people to enjoy "warm" (in the 60's) Sacramento January sunshine while they can
because it can mean February and March might be a cold-storming wet deluge
meanwhile like me they can "play" outside
and even go to the American River Parkway biking trail
maybe just to look at the river too and sigh
wishing they could rent a kayak or other boat during such a warm winter day
The first and only time I ever recall of dreaming of sheep:
In it I saw them graze in Carmichael Park
and I learned it was part of a new county maintenance program, that
they had fired the usual lawn-mowing crews from the budget
and now instead were hauling these black-colored sheep around Sacramento
—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
This new obsession, out-of-place items,
clues and tools to solve a mystery
just unfolding. She grasps her tablet tight.
On the screen a door creaks open:
a corridor cluttered as her great-aunt's attic,
or her own garage. Her first find—
almost too easy, a pair of antlers. Now,
spool of thread and a kangaroo; gavel
posing as a bookend. Public opinion looks
on this as a waste of time; addiction
unknown before the computer age. But
here's a fishing reel; a Cinderella slipper.
She still needs the evacuation plan—
the key? Morning drifts toward noon.
She taps and swipes. If she closed
her tablet and opened her closet door,
what long-lost objects? What mystery?
Waiting for him, you contemplate a box
of heart-shaped cardboard. Such a paradox,
these luscious treats so full of dark and light
obsession. Who could stop at just one bite?
What seems a gift is a Pandora's box.
And yet, a secret: this dark chocolate locks
heart-health in sweet fermentation that mocks
all your old notions of what's wrong and right.
Waiting for him
in doctors' offices with tiny crocks
of Kisses on the counter, you count clocks
like pulses, lifelines. Every day's a flight
of tradeoffs—of complaints and small delight—
this bit of chocolate, this brief equinox
waiting for him.
—Ray Bradbury (with thanks to Charles Mariano of Sacramento)
Michelle Kunert's photos of the
Martin Luther King, Jr. Gala held on Monday, Jan. 21!